Face the Nation this week: Who's up? Who's down?
This Sunday's guests are Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and a political panel with former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers, columnist Kathleen Parker, Major Garrett of the National Journal and CBS News Political Analyst John Dickerson.
For the first time in the campaign, the top Republican contenders will face off on prime time network television -- Saturday night on CBS. It will also be the first time the candidates focus their attention on national security and foreign policy. With the recent reports showing activity in Iran's nuclear weapons program, foreign policy, while not having the biggest role in the campaign, has never been more significant.
Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and the former ambassador to China -- who has the best foreign policy credentials in the Republican field -- will join Bob Schieffer to give his reactions from the debate stage.
The debate will also be another opportunity to make or break their campaigns.
Rick Perry's performance in this week's CNBC debate has concluded many pundits to say the Texas governor's campaign may be over. His "oops" moment, his inability to name a third federal agency he would abolish, is now the most viewed political video of the week on YouTube. He's still in single digits in the new CBS News poll, at 8 percent, down from his peak of 23 percent in September. And his flub could not have come at a worse time - many thought a strong performance from him could have jump-started his campaign and sent his poll numbers back up.
The new CBS poll shows continued indecision among Republican voters. With less than two months until Iowa caucus-goers meet in January, nearly three fourths of Republican voters have yet to decide on a candidate.
And that uncertainty has led to another change at the top of the polls. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is tied with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for second place with 15 percent support. Herman Cain, still battling against allegations of sexual harassment, remains in the lead, now at 18 percent, down from 25 percent from an October 25th poll. Romney is down six percent from that poll and Gingrich is up five percent.
Meanwhile, Democrats and their allies came out in force in a few key statewide races, defeating an anti-union collective bargaining law in Ohio and a restriction on abortions in Mississippi. Has the strong showing, especially in Ohio, changed President Obama's changes of re-election?
Can Cain rebound? Can Perry rebound? And why hasn't Mitt Romney been able to solidify support and make gains in the polls? Are we about to see Newt Gingrich, a candidate whose campaign was on life support this summer, take advantage of other candidates' weaknesses and continue to build support?
Those will be among the issues on the table as governors Haley Barbour and Martin O'Malley, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, join Bob Schieffer to "Face the Nation."
- Robert Hendin
Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.Follow on Twitter »
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